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HISTORY 3210-001
History of Science
Spring 2020
academic continuity revisions

Instructor: Prof. Pamela E. Mack
Contact information:

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is a sampling of the history of science from the Scientific Revolution to the present. The goal of the course is to think about the interaction between science and society with the help of the broader perspective that history provides. To that end, the course will focus on different sciences and discuss in detail selected case studies rather than provide a comprehensive survey.  

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES: By the end of the course students should be able to:

General Education:

This course meets the STS general education requirement:

Science and Technology in Society:
Demonstrate an understanding of issues created by the complex interactions among science, technology, and society.

One of the papers you write for this course is your STS artifact.  While students are no longer required to upload artifacts to an ePortfolio, the university will be collecting artifacts from general education courses to evaluate general education.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Analyzing and drawing conclusions from the reading will be central to the course, so it is essential that you do the reading and come prepared to discuss it in class.

Attendance before spring break: Attendance will be taken by seating chart and six absences will be allowed without penalty before spring break. Note that this is a different system than Canvas's absence percentage so Canvas will show your number of unexcused absences but will not incorporate the penalty into your grade (the professor will do that at the end of the semester). Absences will be excused only for official university-sponsored activities (where you are given an excuse letter), significant illness or personal or family problems, job interviews, and all absences specifically allowed in a disability letter. You are expected to use your allowed unexcused absences wisely to cover special activities, minor illnesses, travel plans, and car problems. When an excused absence is requested the absence must be discussed with the professor and/or documented.  Notifying the professor of your absence with the absence notification form or through Canvas is not sufficient documentation to excuse an absence--please meet with the professor or email or show documentation. Lateness will be dealt with in the following way: no penalty for up to five minutes, one half absence after 5 minutes. Please speak to the professor if you must leave early--if you leave early without explanation you will be penalized half an absence. If you have an official university excuse letter for the national championship game (band, traveling with the team...) whatever absences are covered by that letter are excused. Otherwise that is an appropriate use of one of your six allowed unexcused absences

The academic continuity plan for this course has two tracks:

Track 1 grade distribution for those who can continue to put in the effort to learn and get the best possible grade:

  • two 4-5 page research papers: each one is 20% of the grade, one on Principe and one on Saini
  • midterm:  20% of the grade
  • participation: A total of 20% of the grade from the categories below
    • class discussion and other participation 10%
    • reading responses 10%
  • takehome final exam: 20%
  • The only change in this from the original syllabus is that those who participate in Zoom classes and complete more extensive reading responses and the assignments above will get 5 points of extra credit added to their final grade (out of 100 points). If technology or household issues prevent you from participating in Zoom classes email the professor--there can be flexibility.

Track 2 grade distribution for students who want a streamlined course because of the disruption caused by COVID-19:

  • one 4-5 page research paper (Principe paper): 30%
  • midterm: 30%
  • reading responses and participation before spring break 20%--none required after spring break (see penalty below)
  • weekly check in on Canvas until your paper is done
  • one 5-7 page paper comparing the Saini and Weart books: 20%. Assignment is in Canvas. You may submit an optional rough draft for comments no later than Apr. 17.
  • penalty of five points off the final grade (100 points) for not participating in Zoom and keeping up with reading responses (this is negotiable for students in difficult situations)
  • Note that Canvas will not calculate your grade. You will do your Track 2 paper in a Canvas assignment that will show as zero points and Prof. Mack will download the grades to a spreadsheet and calculate separately for those who do Track 2.
Track 3
  • one 4-5 page research paper (Principe) 25% of the grade
  • midterm:  25% of the grade
  • participation: A total of 20% of the grade from the categories below
    • class discussion and other participation, including Zoom classes 10%
    • reading responses 10%
  • Track 2 paper assignment: one 5-7 page paper comparing the Saini and Weart books: 30%. Assignment is in Canvas, can be handed in up to one week late.
  • This option is for students who want to continue to participate in reading responses and Zoom but write one paper instead of two. This option is neutral--no extra credit, no penalty

A final numerical grade out of 100 will be converted to final letter grades by the system 90-100=A, 80-89=B, 70-79=C, 60-69=D, below 60=F.   On papers and essays, grades above 95 out of 100 are rarely given except for unusually fine work.


PAPER: The details of the paper assignments are found Canvas and in these general paper instructions.  Papers uploaded to Canvas by the beginning of class are on time.  Papers handed in later that day get a 2 point penalty for lateness.  Each calendar day after that is an additional 2 point penalty for lateness. To provide more flexibility in difficult times, you may submit one paper up to a week late without penalty.

ACCOMMODATIONS: The instructor is happy to honor disability letters.  Students with disabilities requesting accommodations should make an appointment with Dr. Margaret Camp (656-6848), Director of Disability Services, to discuss specific needs within the first month of classes. Students should present a Faculty Accommodation Letter from Student Disability Services when they meet with instructors. Accommodations are not retroactive and new Faculty Accommodation Letters must be presented each semester.

As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson's vision of this institution as a "high seminary of learning."  Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others.  Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree.  Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form.

This includes representing someone else's work as your own or handing in the same paper to two different courses without permission of the instructors.  Be careful to avoid plagiarism--text you take from a web site, from a book, or from the online class notes must be either quoted with the source given or restated almost entirely in your own words, with the source given.  Note that the catalog defines as one form of academic dishonesty: "Plagiarism, which includes the intentional or unintentional copying of language, structure, or ideas of another and attributing the work to one’s own efforts."  Note the word unintentional--if you forget to put quote marks or a reference you can be found guilty of academic dishonesty even if it was not your intention to cheat.

It is cheating to cut and paste or otherwise copy portions of a argument paper, exam, or discussion board posting from a book, web site, or from the online class notes, even if you change a few words, unless you quote and give the source.  It is poor writing for more than about 20% of your paper to consist of quotes.  In most cases when you use specific material from any source you should paraphrase: cite the source and put the ideas into you own words (generally no more than 5 consecutive words should match the source but if the words are mostly the same it could still be plagiarism even if there aren't 5 consecutive words).

The catalog states: "When, in the opinion of a course instructor, there is evidence that a student has committed an act of academic dishonesty, that person must make a formal written charge of academic dishonesty, including a description of the misconduct, to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies. The reporting person may, at his/her discretion, inform each involved student privately of the nature of the alleged charge. In cases of plagiarism instructors may use, as an option, the Plagiarism Resolution Form available from the Office of Undergraduate Studies."

LAPTOPS AND CELL PHONES:  You are welcome to bring technology to the classroom as long as you can handle it responsibly and respectfully.  Use of laptops, tablets and cell phones during class for purposes not related to this course is disrespectful to the instructor and distracting to other students.  Do not carry on conversations—either out loud or in electronic form—or do work for another class or play games in class.  You may use your devices to take notes during class or to look up further information on a topic being discussed.  Students using their devices during class may be called on to share what they are learning with the rest of the class.

TEXTS: Four required books are available in the bookstore:

Lawrence M. Principe, Scientific Revolution: A Very Short Introduction
Edward J. Larson, Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory
Angela Saini, Superior: The Return of Race Science
Spencer Weart, The Discovery of Global Warming (second edition)
unlimited access e-book:
if you have trouble getting the chapters to open try right clicking and open in a new window

SCHEDULE: Readings are listed under each lecture or discussion topic.  Underlined lecture titles are links that lead to notes.

Jan 8
syllabus, introduction
read Principe intro and ch. 1
Principe ch. 2
Principe ch. 3
Principe ch. 4
Martin Luther King Holiday
paper topic discussion
Principe ch. 5
Principe ch. 6 and epilogue
 read Larson ch. 1
Larson ch. 2, Paper 1 due before class
 Feb. 3
Larson ch. 3
Larson ch. 4
Larson ch. 5
Larson ch. 6
Larson ch. 7
Larson ch. 8
Larson ch. 9
E-learning day: class will not meet, either watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfVgEn-cwB4
or read the ongoing twitter controversy about Dawkins and Eugenics. In either case write a response on the discussion board
Larson ch. 10 and  Larson ch. 11
Larson ch. 12
In class test
read Saini Prologue and ch. 1
Mar.   2
Saini ch. 2
Saini ch. 3
Saini ch. 4
Saini ch. 5
Saini ch. 6
Saini ch. 7
Spring Break
Saini ch. 8, no class meeting
Saini ch. 9, Zoom class at 9:05 am--see Canvas calendar for link
Saini ch. 10, no class meeting but professor is available for office hours on Canvas Chat
Saini ch. 11, no class meeting
Apr.   1
Weart Preface and ch. 1, Zoom class at 9:05 am--see Canvas calendar for link
Weart ch. 2, no class meeting
Weart ch. 3, Saini paper due, no class meeting
Weart ch. 4, Zoom class at 9:05 am--see Canvas calendar for link
Weart ch. 5, no class meeting
Weart ch. 6, no class meeting
Weart ch.7, Zoom class at 9:05 am with guest speaker--see Canvas calendar for link
Weart ch. 8, no class meeting
Weart ch. 9, no class meeting
Weart reflections, read:  https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-mistrust-of-science
Zoom class at 9:05 am--see Canvas calendar for link
course reflections, no class meeting, Track 2 paper due (only for students who have chosen Track 2)
May 1
Takehome final exam due 10:30 am

University Policies for HIST 3210

Student Accessibility Services: Clemson University values the diversity of our student body as a strength and a critical component of our dynamic community. Students with disabilities or temporary injuries/conditions may require accommodations due to barriers in the structure of facilities, course design, technology used for curricular purposes, or other campus resources. Students who experience a barrier to full access to this class should let the professor know, and make an appointment to meet with a staff member in Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible. You can make an appointment by calling 864-656-6848, by emailing studentaccess@lists.clemson.edu, or by visiting Suite 239 in the Academic Success Center building. Appointments are strongly encouraged – drop-ins will be seen if at all possible, but there could be a significant wait due to scheduled appointments. Students who receive Academic Access Letters are strongly encouraged to request, obtain and present these to their professors as early in the semester as possible so that accommodations can be made in a timely manner. It is the student’s responsibility to follow this process each semester. You can access further information at the Student Accessibility Services Website and the Office of Access and Equity Website.

Email Policy / Response Time: Clemson does not provide me with a phone; email is my preferred method of contact for university business. You can expect a response to your email inquiries within 36 hours, excluding weekends and university holidays.

Copyright: All materials found in this course are strictly for the use of students enrolled in this course and for purposes associated with this course; they may not be retained or further disseminated. Clemson students, faculty, and staff are expected to comply fully with institutional copyright policy as well as all other copyright laws.

Privacy Policy:  Because privacy regulations stipulate that faculty and staff communicate with students through authorized University channels, use your University email account (preferred) or Canvas's messaging system to contact me.  This course is designed with your privacy in mind. If, however, you feel that an assignment or technology tool undermines your right to privacy or is uncomfortable for you personally, please contact me immediately. We will work together to determine an alternative assignment that will help you achieve the course learning outcomes.

Online Conduct: Appropriate online academic conduct means maintaining a safe learning environment based on mutual respect and civility. All participants in Clemson courses are expected to behave professionally by adhering to these standards of conduct:

Online communication that fails to meet these standards of conduct will be removed from the course. Repeated misconduct may result in being blocked from online discussions, receiving a grade penalty, or being dismissed from the course. Such misconduct in the online environment may also be reported to officials for appropriate action in accordance with University policy. If you ever encounter inappropriate content in our course, please contact me with your concerns.

Academic Integrity: As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson's vision of this institution as a "high seminary of learning." Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree. Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form.

A simple definition of plagiarism is when someone presents another person's words, visuals, or ideas as his or her own. See the first section of the syllabus for specifics on how this is defined in this course. The instructor will deal with plagiarism on a case-by-case basis. I will use, at my discretion, the Plagiarism Resolution Form. All infractions of academic dishonesty will be reported to Undergraduate Studies for resolution through that office.

See the Undergraduate Academic Integrity Policy website for additional information about academic integrity at Clemson.

Academic Grievances: Students are advised to visit the Ombuds' Office prior to filing a grievance. After discussion with the undergraduate academic ombudsman, students should contact Undergraduate Studies (656-3022) for assistance filing official paperwork.

Non-Discrimination: Clemson University is committed to providing a higher education environment that is free from sexual discrimination. Therefore, if you believe you or someone else that is part of the Clemson University community has been discriminated against based on sex, or if you have questions about Title IX, please contact the Title IX Coordinator, Alesia Smith, who also serves as the Executive Director of Equity Compliance, at 110 Holtzendorff Hall, 864-656-3181 (voice) or 864-656-0899 (TDD). The Title IX Coordinator is the person designated by Clemson University to oversee its Title IX compliance efforts. Please consult the University's Title IX policy for full details.

Student Support Services:

This page written and copyright © Pamela E. Mack
Send me e-mail at: Pammack@clemson.edu
For my other pages see:  PEM Index Page
last updated 1/6/2020